Your personal budget

What is a personal budget?

If your adult care needs are high or complex you may be entitled to funding.

To find out if you are eligible, we will need to:

If you are eligible, we will draw up a plan to support your needs. The money you receive is called a personal budget and it allows you to:

  • choose and control the support that is best for you
  • be fully involved in decisions about the help you need to live independently
  • support yourself in ways that suit you

Your personal budget will be made up of money from the council plus the charges you have been assessed to pay.

You can use this budget to buy the care and support you need, in one of the following ways:

  • by receiving services commissioned or arranged by us
  • as a direct payment – this means that you will be able to purchase your care and support yourself within your allocated personal budget
  • as a managed account held by a third party, called an individual service fund or ISF, with support provided in line with your wishes

You must spend the money as per the agreed plan to support your needs.

Direct payments

You can have your personal budget paid to you directly.

This gives you the option to arrange and pay for your own support. It means that you do not have to use the services we provide.

If you are unable to manage your money, an ‘authorised person’ can request a direct payment and manage it on your behalf. This is usually a carer, family member or friend.

An ‘authorised person’ must:

  • act in your best interests
  • make sure that you have as much input as possible into decision-making
  • let us know if you are able to make your own decisions again

Managing your payments

We may pay your personal budget as a one-off lump sum or as ongoing monthly payments.

You can use direct payments for:

  • support with personal care
  • help with daily activities including getting out and about
  • short term breaks or respite care
  • getting involved in community-based activities
  • buying equipment or making small adaptations to your property

We will offer you a prepaid card account for receiving direct payments. If you feel unable to manage this, you can use your own separate bank account if agreed with us in advance.

If you choose not to have a direct payment, we can arrange support services for you.

If you change your mind at any time, call 01522 552222.

For advice from one of our partners, visit the Penderels Trust website.

Council-managed budgets

A council-managed budget is where we manage your personal budget for you and arrange your support. We can do this if you:

  • want to use services provided by us
  • do not want to manage the money yourself
  • cannot consent to receive direct payments
  • do not have an 'authorised person' to help you

You can use the money for:

  • care provided in your home by an independent provider
  • day care provided by an independent provider, or by us
  • residential or nursing home respite care
  • transport
  • outreach support, such as practical support in your home

Deferred payment

We may help with the cost of your care during the first 12 weeks of permanent care if:

  • your home is included in the financial assessment
  • your other capital is less than £23,250
  • and, your income is not enough to meet the care home fees

Your home is not counted as an asset during this period.

You may not be eligible if you did not live in your property prior to going into long-term residential care.

Deferred payment agreement

A deferred payment agreement (DPA) is a loan from us against the value of your home to help you pay residential care home fees.

This means that you do not have to sell your home immediately to release money to pay for your care.

To enter into a DPA, you must:

  • be assessed by a social care worker as needing residential care
  • be living, or going to live, permanently in a residential care or nursing home
  • own, or partly own, your home
  • have savings and investments of less than £23,250 (not including your home)
  • have the mental capacity or have a legally-appointed person who will do this for you

A DPA means that the council may be able to lend you the cost of your care after the 12-week period. Interest will accrue until repayment is made. There is a setup fee of £600, which you can also defer.

You, or your estate, will need to repay us when the house is sold or you no longer require residential care.

For more advice, contact [email protected].